The British Council, the Premier League and Hoa Hoc Tro e-magazine co-organised an online English competition “Football and Community” at thitienganh.vn for Vietnamese high school students. The competition has now come to an end gloriously after 6 weeks with nearly 300 participants in nationwide.

True to its namesake, the competition theme this year focuses on community awareness to help students realize that not only is football a sport, but it is also an effective tool to tackle a variety of community based social issues. Many creative ideas have been well expressed in English by the students in their proposals for new community projects they think would benefit from Premier League involvement in their own country. Some of these ideas include how football can raise men’s awareness of passive smoking, helping to eliminate illiteracy in Yen Bai or how football can enrich a child’s spiritual life. 

The examiner, who has worked with the students along the way, remarked on their English efficiency and performance during the competition “I was very impressed at all the hard work these young people displayed. They took the time to reflect on ways their local communities could benefit from the Premier League. The level of English was consistently high. They all seemed very passionate about Football and Community as well as their English skills in expressing their ideas. In closing, I would like to congratulate all of them for their hard work.  They and their friends and family should be very proud of them all”.

This competition is part of the Premier Skills project organised by the Premier League and the British Council worldwide. All of the test content is sourced from Premier Skills English teaching material designed by the Premier Skills team in the UK at http://premierskills.britishcouncil.org/ 

To know more about the students’ interesting community project initiatives during the competition, please click at the below sections.

Dang Quang Vinh – Phan Chau Trinh high school, Danang

Situation: In Vietnam, the father is the leading figure in the family. Due to patriarchy, men practice control over his family. This enables them to do as they please. One of such actions is smoking freely while other family members suffer from secondhand smoking. 

Target: I would like to propose that the Premier League use its influence and popularity in Vietnam to enhance men’s awareness of passive smoking, hence, reducing the number of passive smokers like their wives and children. 

Action: Firstly, the Premier League should make some advertisements about the lethal effects of passive smoking on loved ones in particular and society in general. Furthermore, it can utilise some of the world-renowned footballers such as Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard as role models to talk about their smoke-free lifestyles for others to mirror. Secondly, the Premier League can commence small football tournaments to simultaneously help smokers stay healthy and encourage them to stay away from cigarettes. 

Result: In my opinion, this campaign will be of great success as firstly, Vietnamese men enjoy football and will surely be convinced by their idols. Ultimately, their family member can benefit greatly from these campaigns as it lessens dangers of fatal ailment.

Bui Duc Lam Quyen – Hanoi Amsterdam high school, Hanoi

Proposal for Community Project in Yen Bai Situation: Yen Bai is an indigent and slow-developing area in Viet Nam. One of the reasons can be given to this situation is the rampant illiteracy happening to both children and adults. No questions needed, we all know that if this phenomenon keeps growing, not only Yen Bai but also Viet Nam will not be able to develop. 

Target: The reason why I am writing this is to propose that the Premier League could help to improve the situation, by using its popularity to encourage people to learn how to read. 

Action: Premier League could organise a small online meeting with the people in Yen Bai, read books to them, show them how interesting and important reading is, prove to them that it is a waste not being able to read. Money can be raised by selling players' books which are no longer needed. Then we can use this money to hire teachers, tutors to come and teach people here in Yen Bai how to read.

Result: i strongly believe this project would work, and we will be able to erase illiteracy and make it a better place not only Yen Bai but also VN.

Pham Nguyen Hong Trang – Thuc Hanh Sai Gon high school, HCMC

Proposal for Community Project in Ho Chi Minh City According to what I have known, the purpose of Premier League is to help children be healthier by using sports. And what I see is many Vietnamese children is become fatter and fatter because they have study a lot or maybe they are overwhelmed by the power of technology like computer games, iPad, etc., and they do not have time to play sports. Soon the children will have heart diseases, diabetes, etc. My solution is create a campaign to make kids more interested at sports, help them realize that sports is good and can make them healthier, not just sweating and panting. This campaign will include outdoor activities, long-term program to maintain the result. The Premier League players can teach children how to play soccer, explain how important it is to play sport and keep yourself healthy. I believe this campaign can represent the spirit of Premier League and it will be very successful. If this campaign is effectuated, it will better the future generation.

Pham Hien Chi – Nguyen Hue high school, Hanoi

In mountainous regions of North-west Vietnam, there are many poor ethnic minorities. Their lives are really miserable and insanitary: people do not have enough fresh food to eat as well as enough clean water to use. Also, they are not educated on taking care of their health. As a result, they go down with many dangerous diseases such as pneumonia or diarrhoea. I expect that the Premier League can use its popularity to set up some projects to help the poor have better lives in the future.

Dau Minh Thang – Viet Duc high school, Hanoi

The proposal for the community project in the Northern Viet Nam As far as i am concerned, there is an increasing amount of malnutritious children living in Vietnam, especially in Hong Delta. The consequence of this is those children have not been provided the holistic development Therefore, it'd be kind of the PL to be the donor to this project. The PL could corporate and support the Heath Department of VN. They might altogether take advantage of the bilateral diplomacy relation between the UK and Vietnam to appeal the Vietnamese government to reduce the price of nutritious products (milk, cereal, rice fresh meat) for unwealthy families.

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